LaDainian Tomlinson pushed past the Chiefs' Priest Holmes for the NFL rushing lead in a seesaw battle that may take until the final week to sort out. Tomlinson has 965 yards, while Holmes has 908.
When Tomlinson rushes for 100 yards and carries it 20 times or more, it usually means a Chargers win. After he went for 120 yards on 24 carries in a losing effort, the Chargers fell to 5-3 when he rushes for 100 and 10-6 when he gets 20+ attempts.
Tomlinson was continuously stretching on the sideline during the game, but he said afterward that he should not be hampered too much by a thigh bruise suffered yesterday.
With his second-quarter catch that setup a touchdown run by Tomlinson, wide receiver Curtis Conway recorded his 500th career reception. Conway finished with two catches for 19 yards and remains 23 yards shy of reaching the 7,000-yard mark. Conway is the 71st NFL player to snag 500 passes.
The Chargers defense contributed 14 points both of which came on fumble returns. It marked the first time the Chargers had returned two fumbles for touchdowns in one game.
Offensive tackle Ed Ellis started for injured Damion McIntosh, but he didn't finish. Ellis was benched early in the fourth quarter after a facemask penalty against him negated a 22 yard run by Tomlinson late in the third quarter. Ellis also was cited for three false starts, two of which came on the same down. Early in the game the Chargers had a third and one from their own 29. After a false start to center Jason Ball, Ellis committed two such penalties in a row, making the third and six, a third and sixteen.
"I made a couple of mistakes and they weren't good ones," said Ellis. "So, Coach had to do his job and make those calls. If somebody's not getting it done, he's got to make those calls. I'm a competitor, and I like to go out there and show what I can do. We always talk about finishing on this team, and that's what I want to do, finish. I've just got to try to get back next week, get back on my technique and get back to work."
Rams running back Marshall Faulk was held to 72 total yards (36 rushing, 36 receiving) and no points.
Isaac Bruce celebrated his 30th birthday with 10 catches for 163 yards and 3 touchdowns. He overcame two early fumbles to redeem himself catching the game winner with just over one minute to go.
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